Embrace Mental Health Meet Up Starts in February

Picnics in the park: Embrace Mental Health meet-up members Samantha Brunskill, Liam Campbell, Graeme Hanlon and Madeleine Powley.

Picnics in the park: Embrace Mental Health meet-up members Samantha Brunskill, Liam Campbell, Graeme Hanlon and Madeleine Powley.

THROUGH the simple act of talking, a small support group is making a big impact in the Wagga community. 

The Embrace Mental Health meet will be up and running again from the first Thursday in February. 

The casual meet-up at Victory Memorial Gardens provides a casual and safe space for locals of all ages to catch up, chat, share their experiences with mental health disorders.

Sam Brunkskill’s bipolar diagnosis not only inspired her successful fundraising efforts, but also led to the creation of the support group in 2015. 

The Brunslea Park manager’s executive assistant Madeleine Powley said the group had adopted a great and holistic approach to mental health as participants were able to share their personal strategies and coping mechanisms. 

“The touch point is where they think ‘I’m not the only one going through this’,” Ms Powley said. 

“You can really see how much it’s helped and it’s empowering to see the switch from listening to sharing and opening up.”

Ms Powley said numbers varied from week to week with up to 15 attending Picnic in the Parks from 5.30pm.

“These pop-up groups can make a world of difference,” she said. “It helps to stay grounded when you know you’re not alone.”

Cristy Houghton